Tips and Information for Minimizing Stormwater Pollutants 

March 19, 2018 – Hannibal, MO – Did you know that organic plant material like grass clippings, leaf litter, and shrub trimmings are a significant source of stormwater pollution? When this debris is blown into the street or placed in a ditch there is the possibility of causing drainage and flooding issues as the debris can block these necessary stormwater conveyances. Since stormwater is not treated before entering nearby streams, creeks, or the Mississippi River, the debris can have other unintended impacts on the natural ecology. As the debris breaks down, it adds excess nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous to the water, leading to unwanted and uncontrolled growth of algae and aquatic weeds impacting the aquatic life and ultimately the overall water quality.

With warmer weather on the horizon, you might be cleaning up the lawn and preparing your garden for the upcoming season, we would like to offer the following tips to address the proper way to dispose of yard waste without impacting the stormwater entering our local waterways:

  • Mow your lawn often enough so that no more than one-third the length of the grass is removed. Taller grass has deeper roots, prevents soil loss, crowds out weeds, and helps rain soak into the ground. Leave the clippings on the lawn OR
  • Recycle yard waste by composting leaves, grasses clippings, and weeds. You can also clean up yard waste and debris by bagging it and then disposing of it at the City’s yard debris disposal site. Always be sure to sweep or blow clippings off paved surfaces back onto the lawn. Intentionally blowing or placing yard waste in the streets is a violation of the City’s Ordinance 28-8.

We all share responsibility in keeping our community’s streets and waterways clean. If you have witnessed illegal dumping, or other acts that may be in violation, you can report it by calling the HBPW’s stormwater department at 573-221-8050, or anonymously report the incident online at

For additional information, please visit the Stormwater Department page on the HBPW website at



Download the PDF of this press release HERE.